fbpx

Helping women reconnect with their body and achieve well-being

Are all calories created equal?

Feb 4, 2024 | Holistic Nutrition - Food is Medicine

The human body and, specifically, metabolism are very complex processes. To answer the question “Are all calories created equal?” you must understand some basic metabolic concepts.

The common belief in weight loss culture is that you gain weight because you consume more calories than you dispense. This belief is the foundation of diet programs, food manufacturers, and fitness centers around the country, making some rich people even richer. 

You probably heard about the three macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Each one of them behaves differently in the body. Calorie the standard unit to measure energy, is like the energy coin of the body. Different macronutrients provide different amounts of energy to the body. While protein and carbohydrates give the body about 4 calories per gram, fats give 9 calories per gram.

 

Calorie in your mouth doesn’t necessarily mean calorie absorbed by the body!

 

Two more things that might influence your calorie absorption are the context in which calories enter your body and your lifestyle.

Be Fat Smart: Unraveling the Truth About Fats

Generally speaking, a gram of fat gives the body 9 calories, more than every other macronutrient, but not all fats are equal.  Man-made trans fats, often found in processed foods are processed exclusively in the liver. The liver can’t break them down, and utilize them throughout the body. Instead, they sink in your liver and walla! You got fatty liver.

In the past, people believed that eating fat led to weight gain and heart problems, so they were advised to eat less fat. But now we know fat is essential for the body beyond just providing energy.

Avoiding fats for too long can affect memory and focus, as fats insulate nerves and are vital for hormones production and a healthy cell membranes. It’s not just about the type of fats; it’s also about how they enter your body. Fats in nuts and seeds, for example, are different from those in whipped cream. Nuts and seeds not only provide healthy fats but also fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Interestingly, your body doesn’t absorbl the calories from the fiber in nuts and seeds. Instead, it feeds your gut bacteria and passes through during digestion. On the other hand, saturated fats in whipped cream are easily absorbed and can contribute to heart disease if consumed daily.

So, it’s essential to be “fat smart.” Don’t avoid fats altogether; instead, understand their variety and context. Choose healthy fats, like those in olive oil, coconut oil, butter, ghee and nuts and seeds, to meet your body’s needs and steer clear of saturated fats that may pose long-term health risks.

 

Unveiling the Energetic Economics of Proteins

Despite offering a modest 4 calories per gram, proteins play a pivotal role in your diet. Through digestion, and metabolism proteins break down to amino acids, and enter the bloodstream. Once there, these amino acids build and repair tissue, with only the leftovers serving as contributors to energy production.

Metabolically speaking, earning your energy stripes through proteins is a more costly affair. About 30% of the protein’s caloric payload is spent in the process of utilization. To illustrate, if you devour a 1000-calorie steak, a commendable 300 calories would be expended in the process of breaking it down for energy, leaving you with a net gain of 700 calories.

In stark contrast, the metabolic toll of fats and carbohydrates is far lighter. Carbohydrates, for instance, demand a mere 5-10% of the calories they bring to the table for their own digestion, while fats require an even slimmer margin at approximately 0.3%. It’s an energy-efficient equation – after deducting the calories spent in digestion, absorption, and energy production, fats and carbs provide many more calories per gram than protein.

 

Decoding Carbohydrates: The Energy Conundrum

It is very trendy to eat a low-carb diet, but carbohydrates are your primary energy resource, and I can’t count the number of my clients who complain about fatigue.

The basic building block of carbohydrates is monosaccharides, glucose, fructose, and galactose are the three key players (with glucose and galactose forming lactose, the carbohydrate found in dairy).

Fructose, sprinkled throughout most of the products in supermarket is notorious for its addictive nature. Mostly processed in the liver, an excess of fructose can lead to its conversion to triglycerides, paving the way for potential heart disease.

Glucose on the other hand, can be a powerhouse of energy when ingested in the right amounts and context. Serving as the preferred energy source for all body cells, glucose requires a key to unlock the cell’s doors. That’s where insulin comes in handy. Insulin allows glucose to enter the cell so it can fuel the cell.

Consistency is key in the carbohydrate game. Cells thrive on a steady glucose supply, and fluctuations can disrupt their delicate balance, leading to confusion and damage. A diet rich in simple carbs may result in cells saying “no thank you” to the insulin. Thus leaving the sugar “homeless. What happens to homeless sugar? Homeless sugar transforms into fat, fostering inflammation in the body.

Two factors play into glucose metabolism: diet and exercise.

  • If glucose comes with fiber, it enters the body more slowly, avoiding the rapid spikes seen with fiberless simple carbs. Remember, when tallying food calories that comes to your mouth, you  include fiber calories. But since you don’t absorb fiber, the calories in your bloodstream differ from those in your mouth.
  • Exercise, especially muscle strengthening, helps prevent insulin resistance. Growing muscle mass demands more energy, drawing extra energy AKA glucose from the blood.

What does it all mean?

Diets come and go. It was low fats, then low carbs, and some swear that a vegan diet is the healthiest. 

All three macronutrients are essential for your well-being. Their quality and the context in which they enter the body make a difference. 

It is true that too much of even a good thing is bad for you and that eating too many calories strains your body. But a diet is not a simple add and subtract but rather a change in understanding how different foods are utilized in the body. 

To learn more about the A, B, C of a nutrient dense diet join Eat Well Bee Well.

 

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Feeling inspired? Want more?

Continue your learning by joining the Bee Fields Farm newsletter and gain access to exclusive content that is sure to nourish your mind, body, and soul.

Example topics include:

  • seasonal recipes
  • how-to’s
  • tips & tricks
  • farm & community updates
  • upcoming programs
  • and so much more…

ENROLL TODAY

Together we’ll transform your health and reach new levels of vibrancy at any age.

Love, Lior

Pencil drawing of bee to separate text

Disclaimer: This document is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. You can view my full disclaimer here.

Are all calories created equal?

Feb 4, 2024 | Holistic Nutrition - Food is Medicine

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Feeling inspired? Want more?

Continue your learning by joining the Bee Fields Farm newsletter and gain access to exclusive content that is sure to nourish your mind, body, and soul.

Example topics include:

  • seasonal recipes
  • how-to’s
  • tips & tricks
  • farm & community updates
  • upcoming programs
  • and so much more…

ENROLL TODAY

Together we’ll transform your health and reach new levels of vibrancy at any age.

Love, Lior

Pencil drawing of bee to separate text

Disclaimer: This document is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. You can view my full disclaimer here.

Are all calories created equal?

Feb 4, 2024 | Holistic Nutrition - Food is Medicine

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Feeling inspired? Want more?

Continue your learning by joining the Bee Fields Farm newsletter and gain access to exclusive content that is sure to nourish your mind, body, and soul.

Example topics include:

  • seasonal recipes
  • how-to’s
  • tips & tricks
  • farm & community updates
  • upcoming programs
  • and so much more…

ENROLL TODAY

Together we’ll transform your health and reach new levels of vibrancy at any age.

Love, Lior

Pencil drawing of bee to separate text

Disclaimer: This document is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. You can view my full disclaimer here.

Are all calories created equal?

Feb 4, 2024 | Holistic Nutrition - Food is Medicine

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Feeling inspired? Want more?

Continue your learning by joining the Bee Fields Farm newsletter and gain access to exclusive content that is sure to nourish your mind, body, and soul.

Example topics include:

  • seasonal recipes
  • how-to’s
  • tips & tricks
  • farm & community updates
  • upcoming programs
  • and so much more…

ENROLL TODAY

Together we’ll transform your health and reach new levels of vibrancy at any age.

Love, Lior

Pencil drawing of bee to separate text

Disclaimer: This document is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. You can view my full disclaimer here.

Are all calories created equal?

Feb 4, 2024 | Holistic Nutrition - Food is Medicine

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Feeling inspired? Want more?

Continue your learning by joining the Bee Fields Farm newsletter and gain access to exclusive content that is sure to nourish your mind, body, and soul.

Example topics include:

  • seasonal recipes
  • how-to’s
  • tips & tricks
  • farm & community updates
  • upcoming programs
  • and so much more…

ENROLL TODAY

Together we’ll transform your health and reach new levels of vibrancy at any age.

Love, Lior

Pencil drawing of bee to separate text

Disclaimer: This document is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. You can view my full disclaimer here.

Are all calories created equal?

Feb 4, 2024 | Holistic Nutrition - Food is Medicine

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Feeling inspired? Want more?

Continue your learning by joining the Bee Fields Farm newsletter and gain access to exclusive content that is sure to nourish your mind, body, and soul.

Example topics include:

  • seasonal recipes
  • how-to’s
  • tips & tricks
  • farm & community updates
  • upcoming programs
  • and so much more…

ENROLL TODAY

Together we’ll transform your health and reach new levels of vibrancy at any age.

Love, Lior

Pencil drawing of bee to separate text

Disclaimer: This document is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. You can view my full disclaimer here.

0
    0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop